Here are some cleaning and disinfecting practices your jeweler wants you to stop doing!
People have a higher regard for cleanliness now to prevent the further spread of viruses and bacteria. From cleaning ourselves to disinfecting the entire house, sanitizing jewelry pieces, we regularly wear is also a must. However, some jewelry metals don’t do well with some cleaning agents, yet some people still use them.
It's time to debunk those cleaning myths; below is a list of the common jewelry cleaning practices that do more harm to pieces than do any good.
1. Cleaning with toothpaste.
Toothpaste is a big no-no for jewelry that has gemstones. Toothpaste is abrasive and can damage the precious stones. The same is the case for sterling silver jewelry. On the same note, cleaning with a toothbrush is not advisable, too, as the long handle can make you apply too much pressure while scrubbing the piece. Use a lint-free towel instead.
2. Disinfecting with boiling water.
Using steam to sanitize jewelry is recommended. However, placing it in boiling water is not advisable. Soft crystals and some metals don’t do well with heat -- the metal can weaken, and the jewelry can change its shape.
3. Cleaning with ammonia and other harsh chemicals.
Ammonia, alcohol, acetone, and other liquid cleaners can damage metals and gemstones. They may disinfect jewelry, yes, but it’s best to use just these agents in minimal concentrations. It can be difficult to determine its ratio with water, so when in doubt, just use steam instead.
4. Sanitizing with bleach.
Bleach is absolutely not safe for sanitizing jewelry. This is because bleach is strong enough to break down gold and other metal allows which leads to irreparable damage. That is why jewelers also advise against wearing jewelry when swimming in pools with chlorinated water.
5. Cleaning with vinegar or lemon juice.
Vinegar and lemon juice can clean jewelry, no doubt about that. However, if the pieces are made of sterling silver, it is not advisable as these two are too acidic and abrasive. Aside from that, they can also damage softer precious gems like pearls, opals, and corals.
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